Purpose: We describe in detail a method for urethral and vaginal preservation in women considering orthotopic urinary tract reconstruction after bladder removal. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the pathological reports of patients treated with anterior exenteration at our hospital between 1984 and 1997 for specific evidence of urethral, vaginal, cervical or uterine involvement by the primary bladder tumor. Based on our findings we describe our approach to anterior exenteration in 6 patients. Results: A total of 46 patients were treated at our center with en bloc anterior exenteration and pelvic lymphadenectomy for primary bladder cancer between 1984 and 1997. In 7 patients (15%) pathological review of the surgical specimen documented urethral involvement by the primary tumor. In 1 patient (2%) microscopic evidence of tumor was identified in the cervix and 1 (2%) had tumor extension to the vagina documented in the final pathology report. Conclusions: The observed rates of vaginal and urethral involvement agree with those reported by others, and suggest that in the majority of women treated with anterior exenteration sacrifice of the urethra and vagina is usually not necessary from an oncological perspective. This procedure is particularly appropriate in women concerned with postoperative sexual function and those considering orthotopic reconstruction of the lower urinary tract after exenterative bladder cancer surgery.
- Bladder neoplasms
- Pelvic exenteration
- Reconstructive surgical procedures
- Urinary tract
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